Despite Raul Garcia’s late goal at the Bernabeu on Tuesday, the Spanish Super Cup still hangs precariously in the balance as Atletico and Real battle for the first piece of silverware in the Spanish domestic season.
Real Madrid’s latest Galactico, James Rodriguez, continued his World Cup goalscoring form by coming off the bench to stab home a scrappy goal, via a couple of deflections, but Garcia popped up from a corner two minutes from time to give Atletico a vital away goal.
The sides met five times last season with Atletico winning just once, but Diego Simeone will go into the game confident of victory, knowing that his side took four vital points off their cross-city rivals on the road to their title triumph.
Atletico Madrid also featured in last year’s Spanish Super Cup after winning the Spanish Cup in 2013, but despite drawing twice with Barcelona over two legs, it was the Catalan giants that lifted the trophy on away goals. Simeone will be determined to make sure that the same doesn’t happen again this time around, and with an away goal already in the bag, he will look to ensure that his side shut Real Madrid out at the Vicente Calderon.
It’s been a summer of change for Atletico Madrid, with many new departures and arrivals, and the team understandably looked impotent in attack on Tuesday with many players still getting to know each other’s games.
One of those new signings, Antoine Griezmann, started from the bench at the Bernabeu but could be in line for a start tonight, possibly lining up alongside fellow newbie Mario Mandzukic up front. One player that probably won’t feature is Arda Turan, after picking up a thigh injury in training earlier this month, possibly giving youngster Saul Niguez another chance to start on the wing.
Real Madrid will be concerned over star man Cristiano Ronaldo, who went off at half time in the first leg with a hamstring strain, but the Portuguese is expected to be fit to start.
After Carlo Ancelotti confirmed on Thursday that Angel Di Maria and Sami Khedira are set to leave the club, the duo are unlikely to feature according to reports in Spain, even on the substitute’s bench. Other than that, Real have no fresh selection dilemmas and the XI that Ancelotti starts is expected to be the same or very similar to the side that began at the Bernabeu.
Match Result: Atletico Madrid 12/5, Draw 12/5, Real Madrid 6/5
To Lift the Trophy: Atletico Madrid 6/5, Real Madrid 8/13